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TOPIC: Palm Valley crater


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RE: Palm Valley crater
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Title: An Impact Crater in Palm Valley, Central Australia?
Authors: Duane W. Hamacher, Andrew Buchel, Craig O'Neill, Tui R. Britton

We explore the origin of a ~280 m wide, heavily eroded circular depression in Palm Valley, Northern Territory, Australia using gravity, morphological, and mineralogical data collected from a field survey in September 2009. From the analysis of the survey, we debate probable formation processes, namely erosion and impact, as no evidence of volcanism is found in the region or reported in the literature. We argue that the depression was not formed by erosion and consider an impact origin, although we acknowledge that diagnostics required to identify it as such (e.g. meteorite fragments, shatter cones, shocked quartz) are lacking, leaving the formation process uncertain. We encourage further discussion of the depression's origin and stress a need to develop recognition criteria that can help identify small, ancient impact craters. We also encourage systematic searches for impact craters in Central Australia as it is probable that many more remain to be discovered.

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Ed ~ We should be aware that many of those myths are sacred and secret, and some stories are are told in the same way that Scots tell stories about the Loch Ness monster. Also that some Aborigine stories about nearby craters have no connection with 'rocks falling from the sky' etc.
But, having said that, it is possible, that the finding of meteorite iron, and witnessed meteorite falls, did lead to a semi-scientific explanation, incorporated into some native mythologies.

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It could be coincidence. Earth is littered with craters; spend enough time looking at remote corners of the planet on Google Maps and you'll probably spot one, too. If astronomers follow native stories into desert in search of a crater then find one, of course they're going to holler, "the legends were true!"
But other tales from the Arrernte also tell of a "cosmic baby" falling to Earth north of Puka. And lo, there is 140 million year-old crater there. So what's going on?

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Ed ~ "Those white-fellas will believe anything".

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One of the stories, which tells of a star that fell into a waterhole called Puka in the valley, where Kulaia the serpent lived led to the discovery of the ancient crater.
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While researching the role of the night sky in traditional Aboriginal culture, Duane Hamacher, a PhD student at Macquarie University, came across a story related by the Arrernte people of Central Australia. It told of "a star that fell from the sky, making a noise like thunder, and crashed into a waterhole" in Palm Valley, west of Alice Springs.
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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v328/blobrana/13270081E_2405090Sb.jpg
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PalmValleyB.jpg
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Latitude: 24 3'6.28"S, Longitude: 13242'33.34"E

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Hamaher and his team of astronomers are proposing to call the newly found crater Puka, after the waterhole in which the meteorite fell into millions of years ago, or possibly Ouka after the Arrernte story from which it was found by Hamacher.
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A Sydney-based astronomer has used ancient culture and modern technology to identify a meteorite crater in central Australia.
Macquarie University PHD candidate Duane Hamacher has spent the past 18 months researching how Aboriginal people have incorporated the night sky into their culture.
He says he used an Arrernte dreaming story and Google maps to find a crater at Palm Valley, west of Alice Springs, that had been unknown to geologists.

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